Monday, July 19, 2010
I think that Lucite (or clear acrylic) is a bit of a tricky element in the design world. Sure, it's fun and irreverent, but it can also veer all too easily into seriously tacky territory (see also, stripper shoes). But, like most other things in design (both interior design and in fashion) it's really all about context. Put Lucite in the right setting and it can be wildly successful (see also, Prada, Michael Kors), but pair it with too much animal print, patent leather and uplights, and you've suddenly found yourself in some terrible '80s flashback.
So how then, can you get it right? While my advice for fashion is pretty simple (keep the rest of your outfit relatively conservative, and keep the Lucite confined to a (preferably lower and chunkier) heel, I think it's worth delving into the question in a bit more detail when it comes to design.
There are a ton of wonderful examples of designers incorporating acrylic coffee tables into their designs available on the web to inspire you. I particularly love using an acrylic coffee table when the room is tight on space as it almost disappears, avoiding that cluttered/cramped look I generally dislike. Like glass or mirrors, Lucite is a great material to use when you want to add function, without taking up any visual space.
A pair of small acrylic side tables work beautifully as a single coffee table, allowing an uninterrupted view of a particularly striking rug while the two smaller tables give you maximum flexibility to move them around when entertaining.
Leslie Klotz via House Beautiful
The shape of this coffee table is particularly stunning, but its clear base means it doesn't compete with the bold fabric choices on the bench, club chair and pillows.
Another great example of how Lucite works particularly well when you don't want to lose sight of a particularly striking rug. I also love the tension in this room between the thoroughly modern coffee table and zebra hide against the much more traditional moldings and upholstered pieces.
I don't think you can ever go wrong with an acrylic chair for your desk. It's practically foolproof, though I do think it's best to pair these chairs with more traditional tables and desks. Remember: it's contrast that creates interest!
The mademoiselle chairs from Kartell are some of my favorites (I particularly love them in Missoni prints). They work perfectly with this dining room's glamorous, highly reflective atmosphere and add a sense of weightlessness to the heavy round pedestal table and dark wood floors. Can you imagine how boring this room would look with more traditional dark wood dining chairs?